When my son travels 150 miles to and from his college apartment, I would worry. Is he going to run out of gas, is the weather going to cooperate, will another driver hit him, is he going to get a flat tire, will he fall asleep at the wheel if he is tired? To cope, I kept very busy but became anxious and on edge. My family taught me that to worry is to love. What a heavy burden to carry — thoughts of harm coming to loved ones was harmful to me. I had no control over which worry would take over or how long it would last. I had no boundaries to contain the habit of worry. Looking inside of myself, I saw the shadow side of the inner Warrior archetype.
Healthy Warrior habits were also taught by my family and community in the form of prayer. Yes, prayer is a warrior’s tool in all battles. Prayer is one way to internally focus and see things more clearly. We need both light and dark sides of the warrior as worthy teachers of mental boundaries. The shadow or dark sides of the warrior include worrying, not trusting life, and not trusting ourselves, not trusting safe people and God – they steal our emotional peace and even a good night’s sleep. Fighting battles internally kept me in the past or future in my mind, rather than the present.
“Inner focus helps us perceive the essence of a situation and can give us clarity.” -Jean Shinoda Bolen
The light side of the warrior is revealed when we choose to work at conquering our worries by staying in the present moment. One tool to help us discover the light side of the warrior is to use essential oil blends to calm the anxieties and worries of the day. A tissue with one drop of Mandarin (Citrus reticulata var. mandarin) or bergamot (Citrus bergamia) can lighten my load. My clients frequently choose the top notes of these essential oils to uplift and calm their spirits. These oils, as one client said to me, “helped me to let go and let God handle things after I did what I was responsible to do.” This client had come to see me because she was losing sleep worrying about her family. A bergamot (Citrus bergamia) and lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) blend in vegetable oil, massaged on her forehead and the back of her neck before bed, helped her to sleep six hours per night rather than just the three or four she was getting. She shared with me a month later that embracing the light side of the warrior archetype and inhaling the soothing oil blends helped her to understand that God loves and protects her family even more than she does, allowing her not only to alleviate worry, but prevent the recurrence of the formerly crippling worry in her life.
Simply being in the moment can allow our inner Warrior to show us gratitude in each situation and relationship, regardless if things are going our way or not. Of course, practicing this gratitude may be easier said than done, but positive choices of prayer, self-nurturing with essential oils, and self-awareness using the archetypes are healthy ways of coping. Archetypes and oils can be used together as tools for dealing with our inner and outer life. Like a warrior standing guard over our health, when we’re aware of who we are and how we choose to think and act, we increase our self-confidence and emotional health. We stand in Grace with our own power and healthy boundaries in our lives.
“Warriors change their worlds by concentrated effort.” -Carol S. Pearson
Shinoda Bolen, Jean, 2014. Goddesses in Everywoman; New York: Harper Publishing.
Pearson, Carol. S., 1998. The Hero Within, Six Archetypes we live by; New York: Harper Publishing.
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